CHINA> Taiwan, HK, Macao
China launches protection scheme for sites of Taiwan interest
Updated: 2008-11-25 18:33

BEIJING - The Chinese central government is inviting donors from Taiwan and the mainland to contribute to a new scheme to protect cultural heritages related with Taiwan.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) on Tuesday announced the five-year program would begin next month in southeastern Fujian Province, which lies across the strait from Taiwan.

After two years of research, the SACH had identified 1,354 heritage sites in Fujian, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces as well as Beijing and Chongqing municipalities.

They included a college hall in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, where the Kuomintang (KMT), or Chinese Nationalist Party, held its first national congress in January 1924, assembled by its founder, Sun Yat-sen. At the meeting, the KMT decided to forge the first alliance with the Communist Party of China (CPC) against the warlords.

The two parties collaborated again in 1937 to fight the Japanese invasion.

The KMT fled to Taiwan in 1949 after being defeated in the civil war.

Also on the list is the Beijing home of writer Lin Haiyin (1918-2001). Taiwan-born Lin spent her early years in Beijing and returned to the island in 1948. She was known for her memoir "My Memories of Old Beijing", first published in Taiwan in 1960.

"These heritage sites symbolize the close bond between both sides of the Taiwan Strait," said SACH director Shan Jixiang, who will visit Taiwan from Sunday to Tuesday to attend a seminar on protecting ancient buildings in southern China.

But some of the sites were in poor condition due to long-term neglect and lack of maintenance funds, he said.

The central and local governments would fund the program, but Shan refused to give the amount of investment.

"We also welcome private funds in the program," he said. Some Taiwan business people had shown interest.

Under the program, the sites in poor condition would be repaired and maintenance projects would be designed specially for the heritage sites.

The SACH would also invite historians, experts and witnesses of historic events in Taiwan to provide expertise for the program.